Keep hands toasty warm with this lovely bunch of free patterns for mittens and fingerless gloves. They are mainly crochet and knit projects but I’ve included a few sewing tutorials too (repurposed from fleece, old sweaters, etc.).
I love fingerless gloves and I much prefer them over wearing a full pair with fingers covered or even mitts. My body temp tends to be on the warm side (especially hands and feet), so I find they are just right for keeping me warm unless the winter weather is extreme.
Whatever your preference, there’s surely something in this bunch that will tick all the boxes for you. Many are perfect for protecting skin from frostbite during extreme weather or keeping hands dry when out having fun in the snow with the kiddos, while others are little more fancy for nights out when you want some warmth but not the bulk.
I mainly focused on projects for women but there are several unisex designs that will work just fine for the fellas too. Some of the classic patterns have size options from Toddler to Men’s Large and are suitable for the entire family.
New Collection Update: May, 2022
Since this bunch has grown so large (currently over 100 patterns), I’ve organized them into several groups for easier browsing:
- Fingerless Gloves
- Bonus Resources (how to make liners, sizing charts, how to measure hands to determine sizing, etc.)
All projects were chosen because they offer full written instructions (either on the web page or by instant pdf download) and because they are free. Totally free. No emails to submit, no memberships to signup for. This is very helpful because you can tell immediately whether a project is doable for you and your skill level.
Directions: Click on images to view project page, a new browser tab will open & your spot here saved
Free Fingerless Glove Patterns
This style of glove is terrific and with designs such as this one, you can handle keys, a wallet, smart phone, turn car stereo knobs & other gadgets without the fuss of constantly pulling mitts on and off while running errands.
I also find when wearing full gloves (yarn), my key ring ALWAYS gets snagged in the fingers which results in wonky pulled threads. So irritating.
A few things to keep in mind when choosing a project to make:
- Do you want to cover the first row of knuckles or the second?
- Do you want a shaped, covered thumb or just a bare thumb?
- How far past the wrist or up the arm do you want it?
- Do you have a preference for thickness or will a pair be too bulky under your coat sleeves?
- If you have yarn already picked out, will it suit the design?
There are plenty of styles below to choose from (both knit & crochet), some pretty–some plain, but I think each is “just right” depending on what you want them for or who you’re giving them to.
This pattern mainly uses knit & purl stitches & are knitted flat on straight needles. The sides are sewn together with a hole left open for the thumb.
Nine patches are knit with three different colored yarns then stitched together with a clever combination of joinery & miter techniques. Features a neatly sculpted thumb gusset. Terrific pickup & put down & pick up again later project. Free pdf download available.
A beautiful Tolkien inspired cable design that uses Elizabeth Zimmerman’s “thumb trick”, sometimes called an “afterthought thumb” (found here).
Worked on 3.25 mm circulars with four colors of double knitting yarn. The afterthought thumb technique is used. Free pdf pattern available to download.
Quick & Easy Spiral
I love the raised spiral dimension & think the grey chosen here is just right. Made with fingering weight yarn on DPNs.
Larus & Ardea
Wind & water resistant twined half-mitts with a three-dimensional surface design. Includes a three-strand cast-on, twined purl, crook stitch patterns & chain paths as well as straight twined knitting. Whew! This is a perfect project for someone wanting to stretch their skills a bit.
Sock Yarn Quickie
A quick project that uses a small amount of yarn, you knit two the same since there is no difference between right and left hands.
Easy Fair Isle
Easy to make as they are knit flat in a light super chunky yarn then seamed together (leaving a hole for the thumb). A great intro project for Beginners wanting to try the Fair Isle technique.
Sideways constructed seamless mitts knit in garter stitch & with short rows shaping the diagonal color changes. These little hand warmers stretch nicely & fit without being too loose or too tight on many hands.
Lace & Cable
(links directly to pdf) A lovely feminine pair for those who want something warm but not bulky. Skill level is Intermediate. Includes a lace/cable chart.
January Sky Wrist Warmers
I love the color palette used here and how it beautifully highlights the rows of star stitches.
Here’s a unique design that trims the wrist, thumb & finger opening with Lion Brand’s “Go For Faux” in Blonde Elk (about 1 oz). Pattern is on page (via text), video tutorial is also available.
I love these & the green used is just right! Nice & stretchy ribbed cuff with a beautiful textured design on the top. Lots of pictures to help you out (better suited for Intermediate to Advanced crocheters).
Hygge Embroidered Wristies
I think this is such a creative project, the top is “embroidered” with yarn using cross stitch (grid provided). The tweaks & personalization options are limitless here. So creative!
Ammonite Wrist Warmers
Impressive! This is quite a lovely & unique design. Features a buttoned flap (closure) that is in the shape of an ammonite fossil.
Sock Yarn Gloves
Uses less than a skein & features a row of 5 buttons running up the arm. A simple border finishes the piece off. Worked in a large rectangle, folded in half then stitched together part way up (the buttons close off the rest). Open thumb.
An easy way to dip your toe into tunisian crochet, no special tools required as you can use a regular crochet hook for this project (6 mm J-10). Experience level: Beginner.
These couldn’t be easier to make, simply crochet a square to fit your hand, fold in half then seam together (leaving a gap open for the thumb).
Worked from the fingers to the wrist & can be whipped up in a day. Supplies: Red Heart Super Saver yarn, 2 buttons, I/9-5.50 mm hook, and yarn needle.
Three Simple & Quick Patterns
A nice project page offering three different crochet designs for fingerless gloves featuring waffle stitch, shell stitch and basic single crochet.
Nothing beats a warm pair of mitts during extreme winter weather or when out tobogganing on the hill (remember those days!) These can be easier to make than gloves (depending on the pattern), but they don’t have to be plain and boring.
If you’re not ready for more intricate designs with added dimension, cable work or other advanced details, try these simple styling tricks:
- A choice of colorful variegated or pretty marled yarns can result in eye catching garments.
- Adding extra rows to stretchy ribbed cuffs so they can be folded over top is an easy way to add polish & style.
- Start the cuff’s first few rows in a contrasting color to make a smart border that pops.
Just one or more of the above will give the most basic, classic style such as this one an extra splash of pizzazz that you’ll be happy to wear.
Free Knitting Patterns
Knitted in stocking stitch & lace pattern on double pointed needles (in the round). Includes directions for felting which recommends placing a plastic bag inside the thumb before washing so it doesn’t felt together.
Red Heart Mittens For All
The classic design that every knitter will want to have in their pattern stash, sizes available for the whole family (Child, Woman, Man). Free pdf download. Skill level: Intermediate.
The Onni Mittens
Neat to Know: Onni is Finnish for “happiness”. Cute! These have an intermediate cable pattern, a double cuff & work up in no time with bulky yarn.
Don’t these look warm & cozy! Done up in a skein of Berroco Ultra Alpaca on DPNs. I think the medallion cable running up the center is quite lovely.
An old favorite from Knitty Magazine, they remind me of a pair I had growing up. This design lends itself nicely to a wide variety of gorgeous color themes. Sizes for Child, Adult Medium and Adult Large–something for the whole family!
Lady’s size small, done in 3 colors of worsted weight yarn. I really like the picot hem at the cuff and the striped thumb. Such a unique design!
Might seem basic but is actually quite clever. It’s 2×2 ribbing knit in a tube which folds up (over the fingers) or pulled out & tucked underneath the fingers, neatly enclosing them in a warm pouch on cold winter days.
Part of a free set that includes a matching headband & cowl, I think the orange is so fun! Available in wrist size 16-17 cm.
A free scarf pattern is included. I like the matching garter stitch border at the cuff, thumb & top. Fits a medium size woman’s hand.
Fliptops For Men
Buttons hold the tops back securely in place at the wrist with icord loops. These are unisex but sized for larger hands. Berrocco Ultra Alpaca Yarn was used with size 5 US DPNs.
Free Crochet Patterns
I love the color palette used in this pair. These are easy to whip up, stitched basically in sc throughout. Worked in the round. Finished size: Women’s Large.
Sleigh Ride Mitts
One of my favorites, chunky yarn in fun colors makes this a treat to wear (and sure to be cozy warm too). Full written pattern & video tutorial available.
Perfect for cold winter days when you just have to take that “shot”, this design features a hole for the forefinger to poke through (there’s also a thumb opening option). Directions are for Women’s size Medium.
Crochet Mittens For All
Another classic design from Red Heart, sizes for the whole family. These are extra long for added warmth, cuffs can be folded down. Skill level: Beginner. Free pdf pattern download.
Would you say inspired by the 1950s or 1960s? Youth or size small ladies’ crocheted mittens are worked from top to bottom in rounds of hdc. Cuff is fpdc & bpdc, circle design in sc.
Colorful Friday Mitts
So fun! Available in sizes for all (Toddler, Child, Small Adult, Large Adult). Made with bulky weight yarn (looks like Lighthouse Fresnal variegated…rainbow?) & a size J hook. Promises to be quick & easy to whip up & done in an evening. Starts off with a magic ring technique.
This is another retro style that I really like, features a short 2″ ribbed cuff with a lovely “race track” design on the top. Skill level: Intermediate. Done up in a sport weight wool.
The picture shows an adult wearing the pair but from the intro & the comments, these would be a better fit for a child. Adjusting the hook size can give you a larger mitt if desired (I wouldn’t go up more than one).
Ohhh I like these! This pattern uses an interlocking crochet technique which creates a very stretchy fabric width & lengthways. One size fits all but there are some tips for adjusting bigger or smaller. Directions available in written format but also a nice video tutorial is provided.
Have you done tapestry crochet? Here’s a pair to try your hand at. I’ve never done it myself but I really like the results.
Sewing & DIY Crafts
Don’t throw out those old winter clothes! Here’s a handful of tutorials for sewing mitts from repurposed sweaters, leftover fleece & other cozy knits. Some are felted first (using old wool sweaters or fabric) with full instructions provided.
They also offer pdf templates to download (hassle-free) or directions for how to make your own template to custom fit the size of hands you want to cover.
Just a few so far but this bunch pretty much covers all the bases.
- DIY Blocker: Here’s a handy tutorial showing you how to make a reusable, heat safe blocker for wool mitts from kathrynivy.com. She recommends No-Melt Mylar Template Plastic since it can be used for both steam and wet blocking.
- Standard Hand & Wrist Sizes: A nice resource page that provides standard measurements for both Imperial and Metric units (inches / centimeters) can be found at doradoes.co.uk. The break down is quite detailed (ie. 1 to 2 year olds; 3-4 yr olds; Junior XS; Women Small; Women Extra Small; Men Large; etc.) There’s also a pdf to download that you can file away in your reference binder.
- Toddler Mittens: (age 12 to 24 months) There’s not only a good, basic crochet pattern on this page from myhobbyiscrochet.com, there’s also a nice info graphic showing precise measurements that can be used as a guide for other toddler patterns (ie. thumb height, circumference, cuff height, etc.). You can right click on the graphic, save it to your desktop & print a copy for your files.
- How To Line Handmade Mitts: Here’s a quick lesson that shows you how to make liners from flannel or fleece (with a few hand stitches to secure in place). Another from thelaststitch.com outlines how to line sewn mitts (from sweaters, etc.) with no visible seam allowance. Finally, here’s a quickie from chezlizzie.blogspot.com that uses felted wool, wow! these are thick & warm.
- How to Measure Hands To Determine Sizing: There are different resources on the net but I like this article from Interweave: Mitten Anatomy: The Thumb Gusset. There are snippets from the book “Knit Mitts” that includes a nice graphic showing where to take hand measurements (thumb circumference, hand length, gusset length, wrist circumference, etc.) so your gloves and mitts fit perfectly. The page also has in-depth info on gussets so it’s worth a read.